The output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.8% in August. Output was also much stronger in July than first estimated, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. The August increase was just a bit better than expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Analysts had been expecting a 0.7% gain. Capacity utilization - a gauge of slack in the economy -- rose to 69.6% in August from a revised 69.0% in July. There were gains across the board in August. Manufacturing expanded 0.6% in August. Excluding autos and auto parts, manufacturing rose 0.4%.An economic rebound is definitely under way, how fast and far that rebound is remains to be seen. That said, I am impressed by the strength in output outside of the manufacturing sector. As I detailed yesterday, capacity utilization has historically had a strong relationship with employment.
In addition, the increase in capacity utilization decreases the worry over deflation (though not out of the woods yet). The relationship between capacity utilization and inflation was detailed here and we may be seeing the beginning stages of what may be a reflationary period that the broader investment community had been worried about for some time.
Source: Federal Reserve